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Use of Shredded Tire as Backfill for a New GRS Reinforced Retaining Wall System

Waste tires that have been cut into chips yield a material that is coarse grained, free draining, and has low unit weight, thus offering significant advantages for use as retaining wall backfill. The major technical concern, however, is high compressibility. A new geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) retaining wall system, referred to as the “CTI-MSB wall”has recently been developed by the Colorado Transportation Institute. One of the most important features of the wall is that the geosynthetic reinforcement is not attached to the full­height concrete facing panel; therefore, the backfill can settle substantially without causing distress in the facing panel. A well-controlled loading test was conducted to investigate the performance of the CTI-MSB wall with shredded tires as backfill. The test was conducted inside a plane strain testing facility. The test wall was three­meter high. The reinforcement was not wrapped at the face. The loading test indicated that the CTI-MSB wall can successfully accommodate the highly compressible shredded tires as backfill.